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Ma Bell is giving birth to more offspring again today, as AT&T (T – 24-1/4) announced this morning that it will break its enterprise into four new units: AT&T Wireless, AT&T Broadband (a cable firm), AT&T Business, and AT&T Consumer. The re-structuring plan is scheduled for completion in 2002. The Wireless and Broadband units will be offered publicly as common stocks, while the Consumer operations will be regulated by a tracking stock. The Business unit will represent the core of T.
In other news, T announced third-quarter earnings last night of 38 cents per share, exceeding analysts' estimates by two cents per share. Revenue for the quarter climbed about four percent compared to 1999. The telecommunications firm's revenue from consumer services declined. T officials cited increased competition in the long-distance field and the growing use of wireless service. Wall Street was eager to submit its two cents this morning, as two brokerage firms downgraded the shares, while one firm boosted its rating on T as well as on AT&T Wireless (AWE – 21-1/2).
In mid-morning trading, T has declined nearly 10 percent on the various news. The most-active T option trading is the April 30 put, where 3,500 contracts have traded. The April 30 call is a close second, having seen 2,952 contracts cross the tape. These are currently two of the most-active options on the CBOE